Rural Flaneur



I’m becoming a rural flaneur. Between projects I roam around meadows and forests, between the river and the beach, noticing things and making connections, looking for trends. The challenge will be to align my projects with these seasonal wanderings, to align my inner state with my surroundings, which I see as an ideal state of comfort. Somehow this is easier in an urban environment, more passive a process. Culture is oddly more familiar than nature, which I tend to approach the same as I would a new neighborhood or friendship. I’m treating nature like culture. Spending time this way in a ‘natural’ environment is a lot like learning a new language or living in a foreign city.


The Pacific madrone has new growth. (Arbutus menziesii)


Our camellia bushes are beginning to blossom. (Camellia cultivar)

One reply on “Rural Flaneur”

  1. Aimless wandering is my favorite way to get to know a place. I’ve been reading a book by Stephen Buhner(The Secret Teachings of Plants) on what he calls “heart perception” which, from what I gather, is similar to Gregory Bateson’s idea that the aesthetic sense is sort of an organ of perception itself. The book has a few exercises for getting more familiar with that sort of perception, and you start out by going on a sort of dérive through your surroundings and paying attention to atmospheres and subtle moods that strike yer fancy. Not sure if I buy his idea that by using that sense you can divine the medicinal uses of plants, but there’s a lot in there that’s pretty interesting(tie-ins with Goethean science, etc.).

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